Thermon: the Prehistoric Settlement

Overview

In the third century BC Thermon was the meeting place of the Aetolian League, at the site of an ancient temple to Apollo, and a much earlier prehistoric settlement. Already at the beginning of the last century Sotiriades and Rhomaios had explored the remains below the temple and brought to light a series of oval, apsidal and rectangular houses.

The prehistoric buildings from the south east

One of the largest of these, Megaron B, is a long building with almost exactly the same position and alignment as the temple. It has long been judged to be a Prehistoric precursor to the temple, linked to it by the addition of a row of columns indicated by round stone bases placed in a horseshoe around the Megaron walls.

The validity of this interpretation has been regularly discussed without conclusion, until the start of a campaign by Professor Papapostolou for the Greek Archaeological Society, in 1992. By removing the old back fill he was able to reveal a few pockets of undisturbed deposit below the temple walls and check the relative height and stratigraphy of each feature discovered. The conclusions from the excavation and the pottery study by Dr. Wardle were clear: first that Megaron B dates to the Iron Age, after the end of the Mycenaean period, second that the bases had been set in place after the walls of Megaron B had gone out of use, and must have belonged to a separate enclosure or shelter, presumably the Late Geometric or Early Archaic precursor to the Archaic temple with painted terracotta metopes erected around 630 BC.

Plan

The Elliptical Buildings

The Hellenistic Sanctuary

The Pottery

More pictures of the site at Thermon

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